Hyperlocal Watchdog journalism 2023

Maybe the most important job of a newspaper employee, radio pundit or news tweeter or blogger.

Hyperlocal Watchdog Journalism.

Keeping eyes on those driving the bus. Keep ’em honest. Trust, yet verify.

Newspapers used to do this stuff. They were fairly good at it.

One newspaper towns are easy prey for those looking to buy influence or temporary blindness.

Our hyperlocal news efforts started over 11 year ago. I needed a training tool in my work with major market Newspaper, TV and Radio stations. I trained media execs on strategy & tactics for building a web business.

I smartly chose WordPress as my publishing platform of choice. 40% of all websites in the world, are powered by WordPress.

We saw opportunity as newspapers suffered slow n steady loss of readership, circulation and advertiser support.

Newspapers and the Internet. The Innovator’s Dilemma.

A slow, digital freight train we saw & heard coming from many miles away. We remained. Sitting comfortably on the tracks. Confident the locomotive would come to a gentle stop at our door.

Hyperlocal needs the right, digital footprint. Smart coverage zone. BEST possible audience. BEST possible revenue ops. Not necessarily BIGGEST audience.

Challenge of Newspapers websites: still targeting audience & content too wide, like their print product. Overreliance on ad networks for low cpm. Newspapers placing limited resources into heavy social justice content creation. Tough to monetize, just like crime.

Radio News websites also target too broad. Just like their OTA signal. Cool station call letters & dial settings: sadly not as valuable online.

Compelling content that local residents never knew about. As long as you present it, in the proper way.

A few nuggets. Some time tested recommendations.

Download/record audio video of key municipal meetings. Towns should be offering this. If not, compel them via public awareness. Make them a bit un-comfy by not being fully transparent.

Online audio and video getting better all the time. In many markets. Better production values.

Council. Commission. School Boards. Planning & Zoning Boards.

Stay engaged with the actions of elected officials. These meetings can often be fodder for a municipal reality shows. Drama. Comedy. Money. Tension. Tears. Debate. Heated battles. Public comments.

Zoom is most popular. Then archive video on YouTube. Very low or no cost.

Online access to these public meetings should be mandatory in all towns. Video often much more accurate than meeting minutes.

Leverage RSS for aggregation

Email capture. Maybe the most valuable asset of all.

Play around with ChatGPT. Get to know what it does and where it might take us.

Learn Twitter 2.0 deeply. Spaces audio platform. Longer HD video. Pay 8 dollars.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *